Family First NZ is calling on the government to support National MP Sam Lotu-Iiga’s private member’s bill aimed at regulating loan sharks and protecting vulnerable families.
“Vulnerable families are falling victim to exorbitant interest rates and draconian penalty clauses,” says Bob McCoskrie,
National Director of Family First NZ. “Many of these families have poor English and simply don’t understand the contract they are signing or the potential consequences if they default. Some families are under incredible pressure because of the rising costs and these loan sharks are simply feeding off their vulnerability.”
“Many of the issues around domestic and family violence are related to the stress of payments to these loan sharks, especially by low-income families. The loan sharks also specifically target low socio-economic areas where the desperation for fast cash is prevalent.”
Family First has read the bill submitted by Mr Lotu-Iiga and believes that it will put immediate pressure on loan sharks and will protect families.
“Rather than having another talkfest as proposed, the evidence is already there. The government should adopt their own MP’s private member’s bill and move to urgently amend the laws around this area. It appears that they would have support across parliament for this move.”
“At the end of the day, you can’t change people’s spending habits or unwise money choices, but we should place as
many safeguards in place as possible to prevent exploitation of these people,” says Mr McCoskrie.